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Old Apr 22, 2004, 5:40 AM   #1
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Default crispness in FZ10 photos

let me begin by saying that i am a total amateur. i have had my camera since december and before i had an fz1. i have seen various threads in other forums about the "crispness" or sharpness of fz10 photos. many complain of soft photos. i too have experienced soft photos, more so with my fz10 than with my fz1.
my question is this; does the sharpness feature and the contrast feature on the camera correct this? i have read that to avoid noise it is better to keep them on the low position. i was just wondering if anyone with more experience than myself has noticed any substantial improvement by experimenting with these features.
of course i know about post-op corrections with photoshop, focus magic etc. i still would like to know if it would be better to use the higher sharpness position while taking the shot. (and the contrast and saturation) has anyone experimented with these combinations??

thanks,

andré in lisbon
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 10:07 AM   #2
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Hi Andre...

You pose an interesting question

If you opt for sharpness (and contrast) at time of photo, then
perhaps you will have less post processing work to do in Photoshop, etc.

You "lose" some of your original photo this way (as opposed
to saving in RAW format - I do not know if Panasonic FZ10
can do this).

You may "gain" some time by not needing to do some post
processing!

Here is an experiment that you could try:

Set sharpness to sharp - Take 2-3 different photos indoors
Then, set sharpness to soft and repeat the photos.

Do the same outdoors.

Consider how they came out and perhaps you will have
an answer to the concern you have posed
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 10:30 AM   #3
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I don't own an FZ10 yet, but I have owned FZ1 cameras for over a year now. I am also by no means a pro or experienced photographer. However, In my experience with my FZ1, the primary reason for pictures lacking sharpness is camera shake. Even with the stabilizer, you can still have a little problem with unsteady hands, which will result in anything from blurry pictures to just slightly "unsharp" pictures.

I have my FZ1 set to maximum sharpness. I figure that I have far less pictures with noise problems than I do pictures with camera jiggle softness. In other words, I need more sharpening than I do noise reduction.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 3:16 PM   #4
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I own many digital cameras and I find that the FZ10 does produce soft pictures. I can't tell you how many posts I've read where FZ10 owners are surprised when another owner posts a really sharp picture. I too used to have all of the camera's controls set at minimum, but have since found that I like the middle setting the best for most shooting. One thing that I recommend people try is to set the camera down on a stable surface or use a tripod, turn off the IS and set the timer, then see if the pictures still look soft.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 7:18 PM   #5
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Default thanks for the help

thank you for your posts. i am going to try different settings and also a tripod. i like the camera, but it is definitely softer than the FZ1 which i sold to help pay for the FZ10. i like the manual controls and the extra pixels, but i really do miss that sharper image. i do not think that it is a defect in just my camera. i too have seen many posts about this. at first i was in denial!! i just didn´t want to believe it was true.
i will keep trying different solutions.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 10:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: FZ10 pictures not crisp

I've had that situation with my FZ10 since getting it in November, 2003. When I've asked about it in various forums, the responses have been defensive: "there's nothing wrong with the camera, it must be something you're doing wrong." I've put the camera on a tripod, used both manual and autofocus, and all 27 combinations of the "Picture Adjustment" settings. The pictures remain a bit soft, except when using High Contrast and High Sharpness: those looked brittle, not sharp (they looked like the Unsharp Mask had been set too high).

Now, if I hand-hold the camera and deliberately move it a bit, the pictures do not get blurrier (unless the movement is very large), so OIS definitely works and is working.

My previous digital camera had only 2 mpx (and a focus assist lamp), and its images were consistently sharp... sharper than the FZ10's. One possible explanation is that higher resolution images appear softer because the extra pixels allow more gradual transitions. In support of this theory, I recall that the pictures from a 600 KB digicam several years ago were REALLY sharp... sharper than my 2 mpx camera (both were from Kodak).

The other day, I bought a license for FOCUS MAGIC ($45). It says my FZ10 images are 2-5 pixels out-of-focus, and it does a very good job of fixing that error. The improvement is quite different from what the Unsharp Mask does.

So, I still don't know whether 1) the pictures are fine and I'm just seeing things incorrectly or am too picky; 2) my shooting technique is flawed (entirely possible, since my hands tremble... but my tripod doesn't); or 3) my particular camera is slightly below average, and other people have FZ10's that are slightly above average.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 11:42 PM   #7
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I doubt it's your camera Charlie. I have other cameras that are 4 and 5 MP, and some 3MP cameras that are sharper than the FZ10. The thing that makes post-processing difficult is that the FZ10 is also a noisy camera. I picked up a magazine yesterday that did a review on the ultra-zoom cameras. Overall, they were very positive about the FZ10, but they kept mentioning that the noise was a major drawback. It can be pretty bad. The other day, I took a picture of my cat on the attic stairs using the flash. The picture is actually quite sharp (I had to manually focus because the focus wouldn't lock), but at ISO100, the noise is pretty bad. The FZ10 is a fun camera, but to have to buy one program to sharpen and another to remove noise is not a lot of fun.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 11:45 PM   #8
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The replies I frequently see on this topic always compare the FZ10 output to a dSLR. Most dSLRs are notorious for putting out rather soft pictures, and post-processing is just expected. However, the FZ10 is not a dSLR, no matter how it might look like one, and I don't think there's much comparison between the soft pictures of the FZ10 and soft pictures with a dSLR.

I do think there's something to higher megapixel pictures looking softer when you view it at 100% magnification versus viewing a 2mp picture at 100% magnification. If you resize both to be a 4x6 or 5x7 picture, I think you'll find that the 4mp picture will most likely look sharper. I get the same thing when I take 640x480 pics with my FZ1 for eBay and such, versus comparing the same picture at 2mp resolution.

Or...it could just be that the FZ10 produces softer images...period. Look at the Canon S1 -- it's produces softer images than other 3mp cameras. I wonder if people who buy the FZ10 as their first digicam look at it and think, "Wow...that looks rather soft..."? Maybe we're just spoiled.
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Old Apr 23, 2004, 2:15 AM   #9
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I would suggest that the pros rarely publish a photograph that hasn't been touched up here and there in Photoshop etc. or where a neutral density or polarizing filter hasn't been used even with the film camera.

I don't know, it sounds to me like some people want the camera to pop out perfect pictures at the drop of a hat, assembly line perfection, every time, without any "other" work, or they think it's the camera's fault.

This camera's positives "far" outweigh it's negatives. It's as sharp as my G5 at low ISO and medium ISO, and I haven't read any horror stories about the G5 Digic AF capabilities.

I have a 300D with thousands of dollars worth of lenses and recently sent them all in for calibration in order to ensure that it would be "me" and not the camera when I got a soft shot. For some reason I felt like a failure if the immediate image wasn't tack sharp, even though one quick pass through a sharpening tool would fix the problem perfectly, and even though I got a good sharp shot one time and then a soft shot the next time (that should have clued me in immediately that perhaps it wasn't really the camera's fault).

As well, I'd rather have a slightly soft 420 + mm image that I can run through a sharpener (with humility) than a dot on the horizon that is supposed to be the subject of my shooting.

That's my two bits on soft images in the FZ10.
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Old Apr 23, 2004, 9:23 AM   #10
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Default crispness

thanks to all for your information.
i do not expect the camera to produce perfect photos every time. that is not the point. my point was, and still is, that i have noticed soft photos from this particular camera. i do like my camera. if panasonic comes out with a better version then i will buy that one too. i do hope that they will be able, in the future, to correct what "i see as a fault" in the camera. i do not have thousands of euros worth of equipment and do not want it. i am an "amateur". nothing more, nothing less. even an amateur can spot a soft photo. i waited four months before posting something about this. i thought it was all my fault. i read posts that said "you must learn to use the camera correctly". i did study the camera. i even said in my last post that i would try a tripod. the truth is, i have already done that.
i have not tried all of the different "combinations" of sharpness and contrast indoors and outdoors, in sunlight and in fog, at telezoom, and at macro, and at normal portrait distance, with and without flash, etc. all of that really should not be necessary however. i have taken hundereds of photos. i have experimented. i have been "honest with myself".
i have had great fun with my camera. it is time for me to be honest with myself and admit that "softness" and "noise" is a problem factor. for me the softness issue is more important.


ANDRE IN LISBON :?
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